Mar 5, 2009    #022
Contact: Wandra Brooks Green

Human rights activist Barbara Martinez Jitner discusses gender discriminationUMKC’s Division of Diversity celebrates the ongoing struggle for humane working conditions

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Division of Diversity, Access and Equity (DDAE) welcomes Barbara Martinez Jitner as the keynote speaker for the Second Annual César Chávez Celebration at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18 at the UMKC Pierson Auditorium, 5000 Holmes. The event is free and open to the public.

During her lecture – “Feminicide at our U.S. Border: To Be a Woman in Juárez is a Death Sentence” – Martinez Jitner will discuss poverty and discrimination in a world where 400 women have been raped and murdered. Based on her undercover work in a Juárez factory, the discoveries led to the 2003 film, “Bordertown,” starring Jennifer Lopez.

Working with Lopez and Amnesty International, Martinez Jitner – a human rights activist, writer and director – developed steps to empower individuals to help eradicate the feminicide occurring in a town only 50 yards away from the United States.

As part of the celebration, “Bordertown” will be shown at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 13 at the University Center, Room 106.

“The annual César Chávez Celebration commemorates the struggle for humane working conditions, dignity, equality and access to opportunity for everyone,” said Dr. Karen Dace, deputy chancellor for the DDAE. “Chávez’s work to organize workers against unfair labor practices and unhealthy working conditions continues today. UMKC values the contribution of this civil rights leader and works to inspire a new generation of leaders.”

Martinez Jitner was a filmmaker, producer and the first Latina nominated for both a Golden Globe and Emmy as an executive producer, writer and director for the miniseries, “American Family.”

For additional details, visit the Diversity Web site.

The Division of Diversity, Access and Equity’s social justice and diversity lecture series provides a forum for open discussion and continued learning around these issues.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.


This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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